Looks like "The Voice" gave Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke the TV mentoring bug.
ABC has revealed that those three music superstars and Sugarland's frontwoman Jennifer Nettles will serve as mentors and singing partners on "Duets," the network's new signing reality competition that premieres this summer. Though the crowded genre already includes "American Idol," "The Voice," "The X Factor" and "America's Got Talent," "Duets" has its own spin.
According to a press release from ABC, Clarkson, Nettles, Richie and Thicke will search for talent across the country before ultimately choosing two singers as their duet partners. Each week, the stars and their protégés will perform and the eventual winner will get a recording contract with Hollywood Records.
"The simple fact that I get to go out and find two people that I believe in, sing with them every week, and help them accomplish their dream is an amazing thing that I can't wait to be a part of," said Clarkson, who recently joined Blake Shelton as an adviser on Season 2 of NBC's "The Voice," in a statement.
Richie helped out Christina Aguilera's team and Thicke lent his expertise to Team Adam [Levine] on the current season of "The Voice" as well. Thicke said in a statement that "Duets" "is unlike anything that's out there right now." He added, "The opportunity to work with such talent, both the other artists and contestants, is definitely going to make for an exciting competition."
Though Nettles has yet to appear on a similar series, but seems excited for "Duets" to be her first. "Most of my greatest learning was from singing and playing with other performers throughout my life and career," the Sugarland singer said in a statement. "To have had the opportunity to perform with an established artist would have been so incredible when I was up and coming."
Simon Cowell brought over a similar format in 2006 called "Celebrity Duets," but it was more similar to "Dancing with the Stars," in which celebrities sang with different famous partners. "We were all people who actually have careers and real lives, so we were not manipulatable and that didn't make for very good television," one of its stars, Lucy Lawless, told The Huffington Post. "But I got to sing for some cool people."
No premiere date has been set for ABCs "Duets."